The Traveller rpg has a very complicated history with the gaming groups I've been a part of going all of the way back to the days of White Dwarf magazine when it was actually a table top rpg. Early issues of White Dwarf always carried Traveller rpg adventures & it wasn't long before we were playing them on a regular basis.
Skip ahead to the early OO's & I come across 'The Cepheus Engine' & its basically the retrclone of early edition Traveller. Which is fantastic because there's a very active & highly bombastic fan community built around it. Why wouldn't there be!? This is classic Traveller & its all down to my friend Omer Golan-Joel. Whose work on Adventurer, Conqeuror, King's Conquerors of Kanahu should be familiar to anyone who reads this blog on a regular basis.
Back to 'The Cepheus Engine', Omer has been a one man OSR! Seriously he's been putting out Science Fiction & Science Fantasy content for years! I got into the whole hog of the Engine because of its convertability to Original Dungeons & Dragons. Yeah that's a sort of open secret no one talks about. But when the Expanse television show hit there was a bit of excitement.
Anyhow Omer's been a one man engine of creativity when it comes to the completely open game content engine of 'The Cepheus Engine' which is completely modular & he's been adding systems books, settings etc. onto the rpg system as it goes. The author's got his own great little smaller tier setting book for 'The Engine called 'These Stars Are Ours'. Its a nice little gem of a space opera setting from which we've just freed ourselves from the old Reticulan masters! This isn't the 'Expanse' but more of an old fashioned space opera mixed with a bit of that old fashion 70's U.F.O. paranoia..
"Weather balloons. Swamp gas. Low-flying planes. We have all heard the excuses given by government suits, news hacks, and close-lipped military officers. But the truth, as they say – is out there. For decades, maybe centuries – even millennia – they have visited us. Short, thin gray beings bent on exploring – or maybe conquering and exploiting – Terra. They pilot starships that are technologically advanced beyond anything Humanity had in the 20th and 21st centuries: archetypically saucer-shaped but there are other shapes as well. Terrans designate these ships as "Unidentified Flying Objects" – or UFOs. This supplement allows you to combine such advanced alien craft, as well as their Reticulan crews, into your science-fiction role-playing campaign"
Everything in this book is useful material from the ground up, & it provides the DM with everything they actually need to run Grays as both a alien race & antagonist NPC's. The whole cloth here is down to the bare tacts & facts on the Grays'
All of the information is indexed & codified for convience, we're given a brief over view of the 'These Stars Are Ours' setting & material then dive into the history,culture,etc., of the Reticulans. We get government, military, & a brief history, but we also get current status.
There's an air of the tragic & glorious about the Grays here but their interactions with humanity including domination have been dangerous to us & themselves. Its like the two culture's destiny is intertwined.
And for the four dollars you plunk down you get a complete work with all of the plans featured in the UFO source book for the Cepheus Engine as separate downloads that can be printed out & used during game play! Which for me is worth price of admission alone.
But as I said the Gray here have their own agenda & there's a sort of 'mysterious rebellion' feel to the UFO source book for the Cepheus Engine. That ties in with some of the Grey agenda that I've seen other corners of the OSR these days.